Award Winners

On Wednesday, May 28, 2008, my daughter Mary (Isaac's oldest sister) and I
Presented to the James Monroe High School Seniors and Special Guests
Isaac W. “Irish” Powell

Memorial Scholarships Award Info & Pics

(in picture: Debbie Kerr, Isaac's Mom, Stephen Meadows our Honorary Scholarhip Awardee, and
Mary Desselle, Isaac's one of sisters )

            First, we would like to express our deep appreciation to all who have helped make this memorial fund a reality.  Two of the Scholarships that evening were made possible from the combined efforts and support of the staff of the JM Athletic Department, the football, soccer, lacrosse and cheerleading students and their families here at James Monroe High School.  Also for their support in the education of suicide prevention and crisis intervention.

        We are thankful for all of the generous contributions from the local community of friends, and for the fund raising and donations from the Kerr family, Isaac’s grandparents (Grammie, Papa Kerr and his Church family in Az) and Aunt Denice. 

Isaac was a unique young man, who is missed and loved very much. He was very intelligent, competitive in sports and deeply loyal to his friends. Our family and his friends that knew him choose to remember the Caring, the Giving, the Hugs and Listening, the Laughter,
the Loving, the fun of Living.  I look for similar qualities in those who apply for the scholarships.

We were honored to receive all of the applications.  Thank you for applying. The students who were chosen this year are truly special.  Each one has unique qualities. The hearts of these students in their everyday lives and their goals to give to others in the future is inspiring. Their reference letters spoke highly of their personalities and their actions speak louder than words. 

   All of us have had, or will have mountains to climb in our life journeys.  These Awardees have overcome many challenges already as young adults; however, each one, in their own way has found a way to reach out and stay positive.

They were willing to work hard at school toward their educational goals. They each have displayed diverse talents, giving to the community, and to their many interests in life.  They put their hearts into what they commit to; they have proven they can be an integral part of a team, and they sincerely share of themselves and care for others. Each one of them, I believe shall ‘Pass on the Good.’

As one of these wise students wrote: ‘The scholarships are a community gift, given in loving memory of Isaac Powell; a sign of compassion towards Isaac, of love, forgiveness, and community awareness.’    

      Pictured here are 3 of the 2008 Scholarship winners:

        We gave the scholarships that night to honor and show faith in each one of the students along with the request to:  Remember the Good and Pass it On to Others’.  If you’ve seen the movie “Pay It Forward,” you know that a smile, a helping hand, and friendship can touch and change lives.  Love is the light that shines in the darkness.  I asked each one of them to "Please, keep your candles burning.  
All of You are a Light.  Please take your light and let it shine into your world."



Originally, I hoped to give two $500 scholarships. Due to the tremendous response to the fundraising and to the quality of the applicants, I was able to choose seven.  This year we  presented $500 scholarship checks written to the school of their choice to seven awardees and one Honorary Scholarship.  The winners are in alphabetical order:

Olufikunmi Ajayi: Congratulations on being accepted to VA Tech to their Engineering Program.  You came to the United States from Nigeria and have worked hard to excel in a new culture and country and have succeeded. I believe you will accomplish your dream and educational goals.  Your family must be very proud. Our Best Wishes to Your Future! (If you want to send a graduation picture I will post it, email it to


William ‘Ross’ Browning: has been accepted to UVA Wise. Congratulations! Your hard work and positive attitude has paid off and will guide you to your goals of a business degree and coaching youth in the future. Our youth need good mentors. We believe in you and wait for the good word of your future deeds and future success. (I will put a picture of your smiling face if you email me one Ross!)


            Margaret ‘Maggie’ Johns: A hard working, young woman of many talents, Maggie has been admitted to the University of Virginia, College of Arts and Sciences.  She is compassionate, has a heart for the environment and for teaching. I know she will be an inspiration and encouragement to those whom she works with, whether in the classroom or in the Peace Corps.  Congratulations, we are proud of you. Keep up the good work!  

            Jordan McDaniel:  “Because I knew you, I have been changed for the good.” A quote from one of your references.  It says so much about the quality person you are.  The University of Virginia is gaining quite an asset with you joining their student body!  I hope that you can pursue your writing and teaching.  I’d love to hear that you and Maggie are on some athletic team stirring things up.  Congratulations, I know you will be a blessing!

            Nate Naughton:  has chosen to attend Washington and Lee University in Richmond, VA.  Congratulations Sir, or should I say to them? You are truly an ambassador, a gentleman in many ways.  You have insight, intelligence and heart.  I believe one day you will be a wonderful doctor. I hope you will keep in touch and let all of your alumni know if you start a non-profit medical foundation. We believe you will help people along the way whatever your profession! 

      Sammy Serbay:  Congratulations! I am so pleased to know that you will be attending Old Dominion University towards a Sports Management Career. You have been involved in so many different activities on a volunteer basis within the community and with the school, with your personality you will do very well.  I am so glad that you and some of Isaac’s football brothers applied for this scholarship. The bond is there, may you share it with others along the way in your management style.  Good luck to you!

          Vitally Willis was unable to be there that evening because he was out of town but he was presented scholarship check written to Virginia Commonwealth University to pursue a degree in business. He is a fantastic individual, a great young man with potential who we believe will go very far.  He has a desire to be in business management perhaps with the NFL. A dream he expressed is to one day work with the Denver Broncos, Isaac's favorite team.
I say why not? Vitally is multi lingual and will be successful in whatever field he chooses!     


            Stephen Meadows: Was was presented with an Honorary Scholarship.  Stephen received a full 5 year scholarship to Youngtown State University for Football.   We are so Proud of You and we know Isaac would be/is too.  We are so thankful to you for all of the support you have given to the family, for your quality of character and for your assistance with the fund raising activities this year.   “Wherever you go in life, Isaac will go with you so go far ~ go very far” We know you will.   (Stephen and Mary)




Website Builder